Before Getting Engaged
Getting engaged and subsequently married is one of the most important decisions one makes in life. Your relationship with your spouse is like a music to the dance of your life. If your relationship is loving, supportive, caring, romantic and if you and your spouse feel connected, the entire tone of your life in general with be healthy and will propel you to thrive and feel good. It will make you the best version of you. Even if there are occasional wrinkles.
If the relationship is generally solid and loving, you, together, as a team will deal with life's adversities or conflicts which are inevitable in every relationship, even a good one.
Before the engagement and marriage, it is important to address the following issues:
Talk about how you see your marriage, what is the vision you both have for your life together.
Discuss your similarities and differences in every area. It is good to know how you see your partner's strengths and weaknesses and how these have and will continue to play out in your life together.
Talk about what you like/love about each other and what doesn't quite fit and how you may be able to deal with this in years to come.
If there are religious differences, discuss in detail how you plan to deal with those, especially if you plan to have children.
It is good to identify characteristics of your parents' marriages and how this may have influenced you in your views on what marriage looks like for you. (This may be better accomplished in pre-marital counseling).
The subject of children, including the number and timing is VERY important as well as what is important to you in their upbringing and education.
It is important to discuss how finances will be handled, how they have been dealt with up to now if you have been living together or how this may be different or same after marriage.
For couples getting engaged, PLEASE discuss how you see your wedding and how this vision will be translated into reality, meaning finances, influence of each family of origin, the kind of wedding you would like to have. This, often, is an experience that leads to family conflict and disillusionment between partners. Sometimes it leads to engagement and wedding being called off. Wedding is your first project as partners and you have to remember that you are now partners and have to be a team. It is very important not to get caught up in the minutiae of details of wedding planning and not loose sight of what makes you a couple and keep connection and caring as most important priorities.
Other topics include where to live, career goals and plans, especially after having a child, leisure and social life.
For further inquiries:
Check out Irina Firstein, LCSW, at https://www.nyccouplestherapists.com
Phone: (212) 953- 1388